Posts Tagged ‘Writing’
“Against the ruin of the world, there is only one defense—the creative act.”
– Kenneth Rexroth
As the new year kicks off, I have been thinking about the necessity of ideas and words. Without them, we are soulless, both individually and culturally.
At the end of last year, I made a papercut inspired by a line from Cheryl Strayed’s Dear Sugar column. I wanted to use it to inspire others to create, so over the holidays, I turned them into a notebook, printed by Scout Books. They’re meant to fuel all kinds of revolutionary ideas and writing.
In January 2017 (just in time for the Million Women’s March) my friend Caitlin and I will be releasing Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed. We are currently wrapping up the final design so that we can send it to the printer right after the new year.
No matter who we are or here we live, we must eat. Food is something that unites us. With that in mind, I wanted to use food as a catalyst for change. Protest Fuel is a collection of recipes, essays, artwork and quotes, all with the goal of inspiring you to take action, whether that’s by hosting a comforting soup night or getting out on the frontlines in a protest.
The zine itself is will be printed in January 2017 in Seattle by Girlie Press. All of the contributors to this zine have volunteered their recipes, stories and time, and for that I am very grateful.
I wanted this zine to benefit a cause, but how to choose? There is no way to choose. There are so many issues that are important right now. I have chosen to donate 100% of the proceeds to the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. When women thrive, so does society. Without the environment we have nothing. As one of the WEDO founders Vandana Shiva once said, “In nature’s economy the currency is not money, it is life.” I hope that this zine inspires you to choose life, to be active within your own communities, and to support the people and initiatives committed to positive change.
You can preorder Protest Fuel: The Revolution Must Be Fed here.
Here is some of my work published this week:
Coffee Waste or Product Potential? – This story was featured in the print edition of Fresh Cup but is also up online. “Wast is simply resources in the wrong place,” says Daniel Crockett of Bio-Bean. I love that sentiment, because it challenges us to rethink what we assume is, or isn’t, something with potential.
10 Fashion Brands Innovating with Textile Waste – Speaking of waste, I also wrote a piece on textile waste. Did you know that in just 20 years, our textile waste has doubled? Today the average American discards around 70 pounds of textiles per year, the majority of it ending up in landfills. Fortunately, there are some innovators out there attempting to do something with it.
Patagonia is Making a Sustainable Kernza Beer – Patagonia, long known for its apparel, is moving into the food space. I love their efforts in working to build a better food system, and the new Long Ale beer is just another example.
Food, Agriculture and Environmental Organizations and Independent Media Outlets You Can Give To – If you’re looking for places to support this holiday season (and places whose work is very needed in the current political climate), I put together a roundup of some food and environment related organizations and media outlets over on Foodie Underground. There’s also an essay about caring (which includes a recipe for pumpkin oatmeal pudding) if you’re interested.
And finally, these weren’t written by me, but I was happy to have Hello, Bicycle mentioned in this list of presents for women cycling fans, as well as this mention of Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break in Condeé Nast Traveller.
Image: Domestic Stencilworks
Another week, another list of stories, including one I worked on last fall before I moved from Paris, and which finally made it out into the real world. In a print magazine!
Paris Coffee Revolution – My story on the specialty coffee scene in Paris is the feature in this month’s Fresh Cup magazine. But you can read it online too.
Are Self-Cleaning Fabrics in Our Future? New Research Says Yes – Did I say self-cleaning fabrics? Oh yes, I did. You might not have a self-cleaning t-shirt tomorrow, but research is leading us in the right direction.
Planting a Dye Garden to Make Your Own Natural Dyes – Kristine Vejar, author of Modern Natural Dyer and owner of A Verb for Keeping Warm, helped me put together a post on natural dyeing and five great plants to put in your garden that you can dye with.
Rice Pasta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Hazelnut Parmesan – Another adventure-friendly recipe over on Adventure Journal. Super easy and perfect for warmer weather outdoor cooking.
Images: Kristine Vejar
As a freelance writer, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all of your various work and projects. And sometimes, you write a piece and practically forget about it until it finally comes out, given all the time that goes into the editing process in between.
I often think about what drives me to continue to write, particularly given many of the difficulties of the industry. Whenever a story comes out that I worked hard on, it makes me happy to share it. Why? Not because I need people to tell me “nice work!” but because the articles that I choose to write are stories that I care about, stories that I want people to know about and stories that I hope lead to further discussions.
This week I had a few of those. Here they are along with some of my other writing published this week:
The gender disparity in coffee is similar to the gender disparity in many other professions. It’s a complex and difficult topic to write about, and fortunately I had a lot of help from some good people along the way.
Fabric from mushrooms? Yes, all thanks to mycelium! Stories like this one with a nature/food/fashion crossover are some of my favorite to research.
There are a lot of things that we can learn from the Scandinavians when it comes to breakfast. The most important? Make time to actually eat and enjoy breakfast.
This is my latest recipe on Adventure Journal, where I develop outdoor-friendly recipes. This one also happens to be incredibly bike friendly, perfect to stash in your jersey pocket.
I am excited to be launching a new column over on Paste Magazine, all about one of my favorite subjects: fermentation!
The first column is devoted to the subject of SCOBYs, the gelatinous looking organism that you have to have in order to brew kombucha at home. Amongst those who brew their own kombucha, I have found that many people have stories about their SCOBYs, as well as a sense of emotional attachment to them. One friend of mine even named his.
Today we have a renewed appreciation for this old tradition, and people are taking to fermentation with fervor. Some of us get into baking sourdough with a starter and others launch into the world of pickling. But whatever kind of fermentation you do, there’s a high chance that you’re adamant about it.
Kombucha is the perfect example.
For many, kombucha has become a gateway drug into the world of fermentation. Fueled by an increasing interest in the health benefits of probiotics, the sales of kombucha have grown exponentially. Kombucha sales for 2015 are projected to be upwards of $500 million. But at one point or another we realize that our addiction to the bottles at the grocery store is becoming an expensive habit, and it’s high time that we brewed our own. This is the moment that we turn from kombucha fan to kombucha fanatic.
You can read the column here.
“The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast, and you miss all you are traveling for.” -Louis L’Amour
I love this quote that my friend Dan sent to me this week.
We are so often focused on the end goal – be it a destination, a deadline – that we forget to enjoy the process in between.
That is of course very true when we travel; we forget to slow down. But I also I think about this a lot in terms of doing creative work. You are always hustling to get something finished, it can be hard to focus on anything besides that list of things that you need to have accomplished by a certain time.
I have to force myself to stop and ask yourself, “why do I write?”
When I step back and think about my work, I remind myself that I do in fact love to write. If I let my mind wander, it immediately goes to envisioning a day when I can just sit in a quiet space with a cup of coffee and just write whatever I feel like writing.
But that’s the romantic version of writing. Instead, when I dive into my work, I am mostly stressed about getting an interview, getting to a certain word limit, or cutting something down. In the midst of the madness of the freelance hustle, I completely forget to appreciate that I am in the middle of actually doing the thing that I like to do.
The process isn’t always enjoyable. It can be downright frustrating and hard. But it can also be fun. That moment when you get into a certain flow and you feel like you could just keep going forever. It is those constant ups and downs – the seemingly never-ending roller coaster – that make the entire process so gratifying.
Overall, do you enjoy the journey? If not, it’s time to change paths. What can you do to slow down and appreciate the process?
If we don’t slow down, we forget what pushed us on our various life paths to begin with. There’s a routine to the everyday, but you can’t led it become a rut that silences your passion.
We are all on a journey somewhere, and it’s not just the destination that counts, so let’s all take a little time to slow down.